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Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: 'Prototype 2' - Who Said I was a Hero

Prototype 2 is one of those games you're going to either love or hate. There's really no grey feelings about a game like this. If you're a fan of pure action, where plotholes and random twists don't make you want to punch babies, you'll most likely love Prototype 2.

If you're more of the Mass Effect 3 hater crowd (you know, the kind that hate everything), Prototype 2 certainly won't make you feel satisfied. This is one of those games that requires you to turn off your brain, follow the story for what it's worth, unleash mayhem on everything around you, and yell "fuck yeah" with each decapitated monster.

Playing Prototype 2 for the story is like going to a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie for the acting.

For the record I was absolutely a fan of the original Prototype. In fact, I enjoyed it more than InFamous, a game that is oddly similar in more ways than you'd imagine. There's just something about the massive god complex that is Prototype 2. There are very few games that make you as powerful as this game does, and it's that simple aspect that makes it so much fun.

In Prototype 2 you control James Heller, an ex-military badass who wants nothing more than to avenge his family. His main goal is to kill Alex Mercer (the original Prototype protagonist) who he believes is the cause for the second outbreak.

As you progress through the story, things don't go quite as he planned. Turns out there are a number of different actors at work, all of them practicing the well known philosophy of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". You'll encounter a ton of different enemies, several key influences, but most importantly a chance to murder your maker.

What I really liked about the story is the fact that Heller isn't a hero nor a villain. All he wants to do is stop the plague and avenge his family. He's constantly trusting those around him all too quickly in hopes of finding the next piece to his puzzle. There are several moments in the game where he has the chance to end someone's life, only to realize that it won't get him any closer to his family and changes his mind.

It was incredibly refreshing to play as a character who is not on anyone's side. Most likely because that's how I would most likely act.

Then there's the combat. Oh the combat. So crisp, so powerful, so bloody. It's a rad-filled burrito covered in awesome sauce. You gain the ability to sprout claws, have a whip, grow tendrils, hulk smash, and wield a massive blade. The way these are acquired is simple: devour the entity that possesses these abilities.

Yes - I said devour. If it's a boss-type enemy, you'll only need to lower their health then press the appropriate button when it appears. The following cinematic will undoubtedly fill your real-life adrenaline meter as heads go flying and Heller becomes more powerful. If it's a simple peeon, all you need to do is grab them and press devour. You'll not only gain health from this, but you'll also earn the right to wear their skin as a suit.

Not their actual skin, but you'll be dressed like their character.

Heller dressed as this dude
If hand-to-hand combat isn't your thing, you still have plenty of options. One of my all-time favorites involves jumping on top of a tank, grabbing it by the gun, then lifting the entire top of the tank off and slamming it back onto itself. It's like the developers took everything that is awesome and threw it into one finishing move.

You can even throw cars at helicopters, hijack any armored vehicle (including helis), jump over buildings, run at super speed, glide through the air, block rockets back at enemies, and slam into the ground from the sky creating a massive explosion.

Excited yet?

Thought so.

Here's the thing: Prototype 2 is nothing more than a rare steak wrapped in bacon covered in meat gravy. In other words, it's a whole bunch of badass. Is it going to win any awards on a 'Food Network' show? Absolutely not. It doesn't satisfy all the appropriate categories. Does it taste delicious and make you wish you wore your stretchy pants? Hell-freaking-yeah.

And honestly, that's all we should really care about in this life.

We rate our games out of 5 stars. This one got 4.5 (math is hard). This review was based off a full-game playthrough on a copy that was not given to us. Yes, we bought it with our hard-earned money.
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